Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Review - J.K. Rowling's Tales of Beedle the Bard

Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
Published by: Children's High Level Group
Publication Date: December 4th, 2008
Format: Hardcover, 180 Pages
Challenge: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★
To Buy (different edition than one reviewed)

It's hard to review a book of short stories, in that their brevity makes summary almost a spoiler. This compilation by J.K. Rowling helps us delve further into the world of Harry Potter by providing us the book that was not only Hermione's legacy from Albus Dumbledore, but also the key to unlocking Voldemort's downfall. While some people are apt to shove it into the category of her two throw away charity books, Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, this would be shortchanging the wonder of this book. Everytime you think, wouldn't it be wonderful to be a student at Hogwarts or live in the Waizarding world, you hit the roadblock or "but it's fiction." But with this book within a book, which is written just as well as the series, you feel like you're holding proof of Harry Potter's existence. These are the stories the wizarding children were raised on, these are like the Brothers Grimm are to Muggles. Especially with the limited edition, which is now sadly out of print, you get the thrill of an olde tyme book with metal and leather, where each corner depicts on of the four new stores in metal. In fact, the only fault I have with this book is that it only has four stories we haven't heard, because "The Tale of the Three Brothers" was in Deathly Hallows. All the stories Ron references in that book are in this book... though Dumbledore mentions a goat story that is suspiciously absent... But it's Dumbledore who raises the bar. His notes not only add further back story and nuance to Deathly Hallows, but it also adds a level of humor that embodied Dumbledore. His story of the one failed pantomime and Hogwarts for "The Fountain of Fair Fortune" is hilarious, and that alone makes this book a must read!


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